Posts filed under ‘teenager’

Give Them Something To Believe In

Life is funny, you leave one crisis, and move into a second or third one. 

This week I’m thinking about boys… yes, our sons. And the challenges some of them face growing up.

For the last several years, we have experienced a number of young men losing their life to gun violence. Violence of being shot by rivals and violence due to police shootings. Last year (2020), not only did we experience over 600,000 people who died from COVID-19, we also watched as the number of black boys and men who were shot and killed by police, increased.

Toward the end of 2020, many cities noticed a rash of crimes where people were being carjacked and robbed or killed. Many of these crimes were committed by young men, some as young as 11 or 12. It makes you wonder what kind of direction or guidance they are receiving at home?

I had firsthand knowledge of guidance for a young boy.

My little brother…

I think back to my brother and how he responded to my mom and dad’s divorce. He was young, about 11 years old and missed having Dad at home. He was angry and felt alone.

He started getting into trouble.

A lot. Getting into trouble in those days, meant being disrespectful, destroying somebody’s property, or stealing. Our dad wasn’t coming by for regular visits, but if my mother called about my brother, Dad would come and discipline him. 

My brother was so unhappy that he began trying to take his life. (Thank God he was unsuccessful.) He also began hanging out with the “bad boys” in the neighborhood.

My mother sold our house and moved to a different neighborhood.

Who can say what kind of stress these boys are undergoing at home?

  • It could be due to financial issues.
  • Maybe the stress is verbal or physical.
  • Your son could be dealing with depression.
  • Perhaps he is reacting to deaths of people he knows due to COVID-19, domestic or gun violence. If his family has gang affiliation and the violence is orchestrated by gang leaders, imagine how stressful that could be.

How do you help your son if he is facing any of these (or other issues)? What do you do if he’s going through male teen angst? Maybe he’s exhibiting disrespectful, aggressive, violent behavior or mood swings.

What happens if you can’t change neighborhoods?

Try these five things before giving up or seeking professional help:

  • Schedule Time With Your Son – talk frequently and spend regularly scheduled time with him and keep his schedule jam-packed with school, sports, clubs, time with friends, and after-school jobs.
  • Set a Sleep Routine it’s easier being a teen if he’s getting enough sleep.
  • Get Moving – the last thing a moody teen wants to do is get up and move, but it’s one of the best ways he can feel better.
  • Listen Without Lecturingresist the urge to lecture your son. Listen with an open mind.
  • Keep Your Cool take a deep breath, keep your cool and find a way to communicate without lashing out.

Find an honorable, trustworthy male mentor that he can talk to, when he can’t talk to you. Remember to model healthy ways to handle stress. Take good care yourself.

I help parents build the kind of communication and trust that allows parent-child relationships to grow and feel better through coaching and parent classes. Email me for more information: info@clynnwilliams.com 😘 

Thanks for reading my blog. Follow me on Instagram and Twitter @MsParentguru.

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C. Lynn Williams, #MsParentguru

Parent Coach, Author & Speaker

www.clynnwilliams.com

July 20, 2021 at 9:45 pm Leave a comment

Being Friends With Our Kids

I remember one of my mother’s favorite phrases when I was growing up – “I am not here to be friends with you.”

I never wanted to be friends with her, I just wanted her to stop being so mean… 

And then I had my own children…

What I found, was as my children became tweens and teens, I wanted to be friends with them. I wanted to laugh and enjoy them because they were growing into people that I loved and respected

Photo by Any Lane on Pexels.com

What I found out that was, being friends with my kids compromised me being their boundary setter, the consequence handler, the Mom that they could count on when they needed somebody to talk with them honestly; when they need the adult-in-charge to take over!

I found it difficult to be both friend and adult parent. So I too repeated my mom’s words: “I’m not here to be your friend, but you can count on me anytime and all the time.” 

What I learned from my kids, is that when I gave them boundaries they felt safe, and I often heard them repeating the house rules to their friends. I liked that! Being the adult in charge is important because your kids don’t have to worry about who you are today. They know you are the person they can rely on when life is crashing and burning  around them. 🔥 They won’t have to worry if you allow them to drink or smoke illegal substances (because you’re their friend) one day and other days it’s not tolerated. The lines are not blurred.

The friendship between the two of you will definitely come, probably when you’re both adults and they are making their own decisions. By then, sharing an alcoholic beverage is both legal and tolerated

I help parents build the kind of communication and trust that allows relationships to grow and feel better. Call me to schedule a complimentary chat session or to book a seat in my coaching program.😘 

Thanks for reading my blog. Follow me on Instagram and Twitter @MsParentguru.

C. Lynn Williams

clynnwilliams.com

May 12, 2021 at 8:15 pm Leave a comment

Who We Are Matters

Photo by Markus Spiske on Pexels.com

When I was growing up, my mom would tell me that my actions were a direct reflection of my home training by her and my dad. While I hated hearing that, I taught the same thing to my children as well.

Who we are matters.

I have been trying to write today’s blog since the January 6 insurrection at the White House. As I watched the people storm through the barriers, break glass, pump their fists, and FaceTime their audiences; all I could think of was “What would your mom (or dad) think of you?” Also, how could I explain (to my children) why these people are allowed to deface the nation’s capitol without being dragged to jail. Most of the people who participated in the insurrection were white males and females.

The other major event that has my attention, is a rash of carjackings/robberies that have been taking place in different communities in the Chicagoland area. Many of the young people who are carjacking people, are young black teenagers. I thought how I would feel if one of those young men was my son.

In each case, I’m angry and think what kind of training did the insurrectionists and carjackers receive at home while growing up? Were they raised to respect others? Were they respected by the people they lived with?

Here’s something that I want parents to remember: how your child shows up is a reflection of how you interacted with them. Children aren’t born to fight and attack. They learn that behavior. When you grow up in an angry environment, that’s what you do when you respond to situations whether you understand what’s going on or not.

There are many young people who are raising themselves; who are not participating in online school learning, (parents may or may not be home with them) and who are trying to survive. Survival tells them that they must steal from other people in order to survive. They believe If they don’t steal, they won’t eat or they will be unsheltered.

The insurrectionists have been told that the rights and privileges that they are used to experiencing, are going away. Having to play nice with people that don’t look like them, is a scary idea!

In both cases, people are afraid. They feel that they don’t matter. And when people feel that they don’t matter, they do extraordinarily dumb things to help those around them know that they do matter.

So what does that mean to everybody else?

  • God made us a little lower than the angels, which means we are powerful.
  • We are each other’s keepers.
  • No one can achieve what they are trying to achieve by themselves.
  • Our differences and cultures are okay – we don’t have act like anybody else to succeed.

Raising your children to “be somebody” as my grandmother used to say, is still noble and honorable. Love and respect yourself and know that what you do to others and for others – Matters. ✌🏽

What are your thoughts?

By the way, I’m collecting data on a new relationship trauma program and would love your feedback. Please click here to answer the questions.

C. Lynn Williams, #MsParentguru

clynnwilliams.com

January 28, 2021 at 9:21 pm Leave a comment

Which One Are You Today?

It’s funny when your kids are small, you don’t ever want them to grow up. They are so innocent and precious and they listen to our every word. Then the day comes when they start saying things like “I’m grown, I can make my own decisions.” And you realize they are growing up and maybe you should let them (make their decisions). 

Then they change back into a non-adult! They say things like:

  • Can you pay for my phone?
  • Will you complete my FAFSA?
  • Do you have money for me to get my nails done?
  • Can you pay my car insurance?
  • Will you pay my rent?

Wait a minute!

  • I thought you were an adult?
  • Isn’t that what you told me you were?
  • What happened to “I can do this? Please stop telling me what to do!?”

This is the brain of our teenage or twenty-something kid. The problem is that they really don’t want a lessons learned talk, they kinda want to figure it out, but don’t mind asking for your money and support.

My feeling is that when your kid says, “I can do it”, it’s important to let him or her do it. I believe today’s parents don’t want their children to make the mistakes that they made. It sounds good, but isn’t realistic. Growing up means you make mistakes. I made them? You did too. It’s okay. 

Young people today don’t mind making mistakes. They don’t want to be nagged or guilt tripped, but they also want to be rescued when they’ve made a mistake. It’s doesn’t work both ways! Some lessons can only be learned through experience. A daughter who has a child without the security of marriage (against the advice of her parents), takes a risk that she will raise her child alone. A son who wants to play pro ball and decides not to go to college, takes a risk of having an injury (that keeps him from playing) and working the rest of his life as a laborer.

It’s hard watching our children make mistakes especially ones that can follow them for life. It’s harder when they tell you to butt out – let them live their life. Those are hard lessons for us as parents. However, just like our parents had to let us go and grow… we have to do the same thing. A little lesson learning never hurt anybody! Happy 2019!

Are you saying Yes when you really mean No? Click here to Join my FREE Facebook Group – Balanced Moms Club to join with other moms to receive tips about time management, organization and basic meal planning.

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C. Lynn Williams, #MsParentguru

Family Dynamics Strategist, Author & Speaker

www.clynnwilliams.com

January 4, 2019 at 10:14 pm 5 comments

Jerks and Pretty Boys

When my daughter was a teen, she was attracted to ‘pretty boys’ and ‘bad boys’. I had to admit they were good to look at, but I constantly drilled (to her) the importance of men having a reputable character. It was great that they were good looking, but were they jerks or nice men? When I was growing up, a jerk was a guy who seemed to understand EVERYTHING a girl was going through and was wonderful to be with until he broke up with you and talked badly about you. Definitely the kind of guy to stay away fromjerks

According to the Urban Dictionary, a jerk is the kind of guy most girls ACTUALLY want when they say they want a Nice Guy.  Jerks are selfish, manipulative men who see women as little more than sexual conquests to brag about to their buddies or mere objects that are there for their personal pleasure.[1]

On the other hand, pretty boys while vain, are still nice guys. A good looking teenage boy (or 20-something man), not necessarily well-built. A pretty boy usually has a naturally clean-cut appearance, dresses well (mainly prep gear), and is very aware of his hair, skin, etc. He constantly looks in the mirror to ensure that he looks perfect from head to toe. You can usually tell who are the pretty boys (school, malls, bars, etc.). 

What concerns me is how easily we are attracted to jerks and pretty boys? I am not as concerned with the pretty boys as I am with the jerks. The problem with jerks is that they come off as the kind of man who is in your corner and cares about you, until you fall for him (or have sex with him or both). They are looking for the next challenge and are not concerned with how you feel. IT’S ALL ABOUT THEM.  Too many of us are involved with jerks – men who are selfish and manipulative. For some reason, we rationalize why their behavior is okay and why we should subject ourselves to their bull#*~^.

The other problem with your daughter dating or marrying a jerk, is that you can’t tell her what a jerk the guy is. She will defend him until he has thoroughly demoralized her, destroyed her self-esteem, and she begins to doubt every GOOD thing about herself. Only then might she be open to the wisdom that you can share with her.  (She will have to ask you for advice – please don’t offer it.)

Here are 9 ways to spot a jerk, (usually) on your first date:

  • He calls you “babe” right from the get-go
  • He walks in front of you
  • He brags about himself
  • He doesn’t open the door for you (my husband’s pet peeve)
  • He hogs the conversation and doesn’t let you get a word in
  • He gives you low-grade insults guaranteed to undermine your self-confidence (called negging)
  • He gives attention to another girl in the room (seriously)
  • He calls women bitches (my pet peeve)
  • He disrespects his mother

I dated a guy once, who my mother thought was the cat’s meow! But he was disrespectful to his mother, and I wondered how could he treat me with respect, if he didn’t respect his mother. It is NEVER okay to accept negative compliments, especially from a guy that wants to date or marry you. By the way here is an example of a negative compliment: That shirt looks good on you, but I don’t think pink is your color.

Any or some combination of the nine traits listed are bad enough to make you leave your date and take an Uber home. Unfortunately, when those traits are combined with a male irresistible-ness, it makes a woman doubt what she saw and have another date just to confirm that what she saw (in him) the first time was true.

Ladies, there is no reason for a second or third date with Mr. Jerk! He is true to his title and will ultimately make you feel bad about the badass that you are. Your Mr. Right is close by, so don’t sell yourself short and take home (have a child with or marry) Mr. Jerk. He will leave you with a lifetime of demoralizing feelings that only time, prayer and a good therapist can diminish. Leave the jerks and pretty boys alone. You deserve so much better.

[1] https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Jerk

Interested in learning more about communicating with that daughter of yours? Contact me – Ms. Parent Guru to receive information about my coaching programs.

Click Here to become a part of my parenting community.

C. Lynn Williams, #MsParentguru

Family Dynamics Strategist, Author & Speaker

www.clynnwilliams.com

December 6, 2018 at 8:47 am Leave a comment

Have You Established A School Routine?

When I was in elementary and high school, my mother started preparing my siblings and me for our 1st day of school several weeks in advance. She changed our bedtimes and reduced our outside playing time to prepare us for the new school year. It didn’t make sense at the time, but the transition to school was smoother and we weren’t sleepy in the mornings. 

Once I had children of my own, having a routine, made a lot of sense. And as a former high school teacher, I could tell which students had routines at home and those who didn’t. Email me back if you want to know how I knew….

If you are dreading the first week of school and wondering how you are going to prepare for a new routine where everyone is on time to where they are going – l CAN HELP!

As a Back to School gift to all parents who are getting children of all ages back into the groove of school, I am offering you a gift of peace instead of chaotic mornings and bedtimes. To receive this gem of information, join my parent community. I promise that your contact information will be safe and is not for sale by me or anyone on my staff.

Below is a link to preschool, elementary and high school routines that I created to help you help your child get into the groove of school as easily as possible. 

CLICK HERE

If your current routines aren’t working to your satisfaction, build a new set of routines this year. The routines will teach your children how to manage themselves and their time for better success in school. Have a great school year!

Interested in learning more about your family’s dynamics? Contact me – Ms. Parent Guru to receive information about my inspiring parenting programs for Aging Parents, Mothers and Daughters, Mothers and their Sons, Fathers and Daughters or Fathers and their Sons.

C. Lynn Williams, #MsParentguru

Family Dynamics Strategist, Author & Speaker

www.clynnwilliams.com

August 29, 2018 at 9:14 pm Leave a comment

Are We Properly Preparing Our Daughters?

One of the things that I was most proud of as a mom, was how I prepared my biological daughter for what challenges life had for her.

Often our conversations were predicated on what was going on in my life like divorce, disappointment, dating, career changes, etc. 

Other people’s life experiences were fair game too because they were teachable moments that I could use to explain why life operated as it did.

So I thought I did a pretty GOOD job … until we had our latest conversation and she told me that mothers don’t really prepare their daughters for life as a mom; as a working mom or as a married working mom.

She felt we’re not honest about the job description. Somehow the picture that we paint is idealistic and not representative of what it takes to be married, work and raise children.

In actuality, you marry the man of your dreams (hopefully), you have a baby or several babies, and you work outside of the home. When you get home from work, you take care of your family. In the taking care of your family you seldom have time for yourself. And depending on your husband’s culture and upbringing, he may or may not support you in the raising of the children and helping with the household chores.

That sucks, because there is such a difference between the American dream for women and what many young women experience as wives and mothers. We tell our daughters to get a good education, find a good job, get married and have children. And live happily ever after.

It’s more realistic for us as mothers, to share realistic experiences with our daughters throughout their adolescence and teen years, so that they can decide what they want out of life. And they understand the trade-offs that are required depending on which path they take.

For women who decide to take the career path and not have children, mothers need to share what that may feel like as the daughter gets older. Having the conversation may help minimize the regret of not having become a mother.

On the other hand, for daughters who want a career and also a family; explain how exhausted they can be during the first 5 years of their child’s life because of sleep deprivation and adjustments to new family routines. They may have a supportive spouse and they may not. Give them guilt-free permission to hire a nanny or a housekeeper to help with the house and children.

I mean if we are not honest with our daughters, who will be?

Interested in learning more about your family’s dynamics? Contact me – Ms. Parent Guru to receive information about my inspiring parenting programs for Aging Parents, Mothers and Daughters, Mothers and their Sons, Fathers and Daughters or Fathers and their Sons.

Click Here to become a part of my parenting community.

C. Lynn Williams, #MsParentguru

Family Dynamics Strategist, Author & Speaker

www.clynnwilliams.com

August 13, 2018 at 12:10 pm Leave a comment

PBS Documentary Looks at One Juvenile’s Life-Without-Parole Sentence

Imagine this happening to your fourteen or fifteen year old son.

PBS Documentary Looks at One Juvenile's Life-Without-Parole Sentence

 

PBS Documentary Looks at One Juvenile’s Life-Without-Parole Sentence.

August 5, 2014 at 8:25 pm Leave a comment

Is Your Teen a Sex Fiend?

As I sit here thinking back on the things I was most curious about as an adolescent girl; sex was probably one of them. Being curious was one thing; acting on this curiosity was altogether different. My parents were really clear. Sex was a no-no and I knew why. As much as my mother explained about being a ‘good girl’, it took my gossipy guy friends in the old neighborhood to help me stay a ‘good girl’. They talked about all the girls who were giving up their virginity and how easy they were. Who wanted to be considered easy?

Nowadays doesn’t help that sex topics are openly portrayed on TV, the radio, in music videos – EVERYWHERE! A few suggestive lyrics, raging hormones and a free afternoon for your tween or teen child is all they need to get it (as the kids say) “on and popping”. In other words, they will have had sex and become pregnant before you realize that they are attracted to ‘the next door neighbor’. Don’t always assume that they are going where they say they are going. Offer them a ride, and sometimes call the house of their girl or guy friend to make sure they are actually there instead of in the back seat of someone else’s car. Also explain that oral sex is still considered sex. Many young girls have told me that ‘servicing’ a boy is not considered sex and its okay.

So what do you do? One: Have open and honest conversations with them & their friends. I remember asking my daughter to promise to tell me before she wanted to have sex. Well of course she said ‘Mom, I’m not doing that’. Two: Get them involved in after school activities and make sure they get to those activities. If your daughter loves basketball, help her try-out and get on the team. Maybe music is their muse. If so, have them join the Band Club; try out for the fall or spring play; join the Chess Club or Debate team. Having them have something to do after school besides homework keeps them from having time to explore their fantasies; helps them with time management and gives them a good night’s sleep because they will be tired.

The teen years are a time of exploration. Help them channel that sexual energy into something positive and postpone grandparent years if you can. Happy Parenting~

C. Lynn Williams, #MsParentguru
Author & Parent Coach

Trying to Stay Sane While Raising Your Teen (St. Paul Press, 2010)
The Pampered Prince: Moms Create a GREAT Relationship with Your Son (St. Paul Press, 2012)
Raising Your Daughter Through the Joys, Tears & HORMONES! (220 Communications, 2013)

January 24, 2014 at 5:49 pm Leave a comment

Surviving Loss

One of my former students lost her mother yesterday. Her daughter, (also a former student) told me about it today and it took me back five years ago when I lost my own mother. My initial feels of numbness and grief, turned into days of feeling lost and disconnected. Then I could hardly put two thoughts together without being reduced to tears. Weird huh?

What was funny about my reaction after losing my mother was that my sister was closest to my mom; they talked regularly throughout the day, and were cooking and drinking buddies.  My mom and I talked daily but relied on each other in different ways. Being more private in my thoughts I didn’t feel the need to share everything with my mom. She taught me how to be resourceful, so I shared problems that I couldn’t figure out alone. Yet when I did share my secrets with her, I could count on her to keep them secret forever. Yes, we were mother & daughter, but we were also good friends, quite different from our relationship during my years as a teenager! Mom was my chief strategist in many ways. Her suggestions and ideas guided me through relationships, both work & personal, childrearing, and through all of my entrepreneurial pursuits. Mothers are a part of our lives in so many ways, is it possible to exist when that relationship comes to an end?

To read more about my thoughts (personal & parenting) about mother & daughter relationships, preorder a copy of my soon to be released book, “Raising Your Daughter Through the Joys, Tears & HORMONES!”…

C. Lynn Williams
Author & Speaker

http://www.clynnwilliams.com

cgwwbooks@yahoo.com

September 11, 2013 at 10:35 am 1 comment

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